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Publisher's Summary

A woman is found murdered in the woods with a very special watch on her wrist, and what seemed a simple case soon escalates into a nightmare. The criminal methods of some of the most infamous killers of all time are being replicated by a new predator who stalks and strikes victims with a cunning brilliance. No one can understand the murderer's motives or who the next victim will be.

Drawn into this violent affair are two Secret Service agents turned private investigators, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell. Both have been hired to prove a man's innocence in a domestic burglary involving an aristocratic, if dysfunctional, family. Soon, stunning secrets will lead the partners into the middle of a frantic search for a killer unlike any they've confronted before.

As the Hour Game barrels forward, Sean and Michelle face a macabre puzzle and uncover one horrifying revelation after another. Nearing the truth, they will find that their own lives are in danger. And then they're hit with the biggest surprise of all. When you play the Hour Game, you have to play to win. But time is running out...for all of them.

In Hour Game, best-selling master storyteller David Baldacci has created his most mind-blowing and satisfying thriller yet.

©2004 Columbus Rose, Inc. (P)2004 Time Warner Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Utterly absorbing, complex mystery-thriller that spins in unexpected directions....A snappy surprise ending will have Baldacci's many fans remembering why they love this author so much." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Erin
  • Cornelius, NC, United States
  • 05-26-10

Baldacci Doesn't dissapoint

I recommend you read/listen to Baldacci's 'Split Second' before 'Hour Game'. I loved this book, I couldn't put it down. It's a great who done it and leaves you guessing all the way through. Narration was excellent!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story


Scott Brick is great. However, plot was sophomoric and convoluted with gratuitous violence.....was glad to get it over with.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great listen!!

This is the first book that gave me "sore ears" because I couldn't stop listening! If you enjoy murder mystery genre, this ia s real winner!

37 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

not a great story

So, so....could of been much better but was lacking something. Scott did his best but story just didnt do it for me.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joanna
  • SCOTTSDALE, AZ, United States
  • 06-09-09


I have read two other books with Sean and Michelle and love their chemistry and the research that Baldacci puts into these novels. However, this story was not one I would recommend. It was okay if you want to keep up with the progression of the series; it had some details that might be good to know that carry over to the next book. However,the story-line was all over the place. Even after the EXTREMELY convoluted summation at the end of the book it still didn't make for a believable story. I thought the ending was very far-fetched. However, the biggest criticism I have about this book is the way Baldacci treated the Michelle character. Michelle was a strong female protagonist in Split Second and First Family (both very enjoyable.) But, here the author portrays poor Michelle as a weak sidekick to Sean King. When we are introduced to her as a top-notch Secret Service agent in Split Second, she had amazing skills in marksmanship, self-defense, investigation, and reasoning. She really was a force with which to be reckoned. In this book, she never takes a shot until it's too late, (and then she misses,) she can't fend off an attacker when her life is endangered, and her investigative skills are almost useless. She makes only small contributions along the way, usually as a follow-up revelation to something that King has already figured out. At one point, one of the characters in the book refers to the team as "Batman and Robin" and that's about right, except that Michelle doesn't even come off as being as helpful as Robin! In my opinion, the team works best when they come off as Batman and Superman with each possessing slightly different, but nevertheless, exceptionally cool skills that allow both of them to make equal contributions to the team. This book missed that mark.

23 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Lisa
  • South River, NJ, United States
  • 08-13-07

energizer bunny whodunnit

It keeps going and going and going. This is one of the first Scott Brick narrations that I couldn't wait to end. I made it through but I felt like saying to the author, "ENOUGH already." Too many murders, too many subplots. I can handle a good mystery but this was too much to take. My advice: skip it.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

"Split Second" Should Have Been a Stand-Alone Book

This second novel in the series was a disappointment, despite the constant reversals and unreliable characters in surprising situations. I had looked forward to more of the imminent possibilities in the King and Maxwell partnership. The first novel had a charm and sense of optimism unusual in murder mysteries , and half an hour after finishing "Split Second" I was already immersed in "Hour Game."

Unfortunately, the unique dynamic between the two former Secret Service superstars simply disappeared. Suddenly Maxwell was just a woman addicted to working out, playing second fiddle to a man who constantly put down her housekeeping skills-- and how is such a personality quirk relevant to the functioning of their agency? Being a former Olympian is not enough--she should be a fabulous cook with a cozy home for her non-existent friends to visit? Why did Maxwell essentially disappear as a lead character? And why wouldn't a young, smart and gorgeous woman at least be dating? Only King gets the dates in this book-- a messy rekindling of some former undefined "thing" (was it the year after her husband died, or when did it fit in the chronology?).

And why didn't the pair have any other active cases? They became less and less plausible as formerly interesting people, and I won't waste a credit on any more books in this series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


As I listened to cliche after cliche and fight after fight, I felt the Hour Game was a game of endurance. I have read other Baldacci novels and enjoyed them, but this one is a waste of your hours and mine.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kevin
  • nashua, NH, USA
  • 12-14-04


Like one of the other reviewers I have read and enjoyed some of the authors other books a lot more. The story was a bit too unbelievable. The narrator was good very easy to listen to however.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Two strikes against the Baldacci team!

I had always enjoyed David Baldacci?s books until I encountered ?Split Second?. I was very disappointed with that book. Excessive coincidences, people doing totally illogical things seemingly just to advance the plot, poor dialog, and on and on.

Convinced that this must have been a Baldacci aberration, I was somewhat excited to see quickly pick up his newly published book, ?Hour Game?. Since Scott Brick (possibly the best book reader in existence) was the reader, purchasing that audio book was literally a no-brainer.

The same main characters grace ?Split Second? and ?Hour Game? but I decided I could not hold that against them. Well, I?ve heard this newest book ? even the excruciating last hour or so. Cardboard characters, mouthing unrealistic dialog, stumbling through a convoluted collection of plot twists that go no where satisfying. When the main character in the book has to endlessly tell other characters what is really going on, it strikes me that the author might better be writing essays rather than novels.

One last cavil ? and I am sure this does not give away any important plot. Two characters shoot at each other and their bullets collide in mid-air. Really silly -- and worse yet, it contributed nothing to advancing the plot.

I really think the citizens of the thinly veiled Waynesboro, Virginia may have a valid class action suit against Mr. Baldacci.

16 of 20 people found this review helpful